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Arts & Culture

Ennis library fund reallocated to municipal districts

IN an email to all 28 county councillors on Monday, Clare County Council chief executive, Tom Coughlan said €75,000, which had been earmarked for the development of Ennis library, would instead be distributed to all four municipal districts and allocated according to population. “I have again reviewed the proposed budgetary allocation for 2015 and it has been determined that a sum of €75,000, which had been provided in respect of advance cost for the Ennis library development, may not be provided from the revenue account in 2015,” Tom Coughlan said.“Accordingly, I have suggested to the Corporate Policy Group that the sum of €75,000 be made available to the municipal districts and that this sum be allocated proportionately on a population basis to each municipal district,” he added. Meanwhile, the council chief executive also referred to the report issued on Friday, September 26, which, in the context of the Local Property Tax, set out the financial position of the council. “That …

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TV cop reveals Crusheen roots

AN Bronntanas is a new five-part contemporary thriller, set in a fictional village in the West of Ireland, which is under pressure. Featuring John Finn, an actor with strong Clare links, the show is told in the style of a Celtic Noir, with elements of the Coen brothers’ influence thrown in. It tells the story of the village’s struggle as the economy crashes and unemployment runs high. The main employer is the local fish factory and that, too, is beginning to go under and many will be broke. When a rescue crew receives a distress call on a stormy night, to discover an abandoned fishing boat with a cargo of over a €1 million worth of drugs, the crew is faced with a moral dilemma. Do they hand the drugs to the authorities or sell the drugs and save their struggling village? An Bronntanas stars Dara Devaney (Na Cloigne) and Owen McDonnell (Single Handed), alongside veteran American-Irish TV and theatre …

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Ailish heads in new direction

Bodyke-based milliner, Ailish McElroy has recently launched her own line of handmade, bespoke hats and headpieces. Ailish is originally from Rathfarnham in Dublin and worked abroad for a few years, before returning to Ireland to settle in Bodyke with her family. Her designs are classic and edgy, with maximum elegance, creating that finishing touch to complement any outfit. Specialising in unique and imaginative headpieces, she was the official milliner for the Clare Rose at this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival. Millinery is a craft form that has been rapidly expanding of late and Ailish explains how she got involved in it. “I have always been a very creative person and I have been a graphic designer for many years. I always had an intense interest in all types of design; fashion, interiors, architecture. After attending Ladies Day at the Galway Races last year, I developed an interest in millinery. I was soul-searching for an area I could devote myself …

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Percy French comes to a halt in Spanish Point

The Percy French Troubadours from Dublin will perform a charity concert in the Armada Hotel on Sunday,  at 8pm, with proceeds going towards Sláinte an Chláir and Oidhreacht an Chláir. The group consist of six musicians who play keyboard, guitar, accordion, violin, bass guitar and drums, plus 12 singers. Not only will they perform most of Percy French’s favourite songs but they also enact dramatic scenes of some of his work using some clever miming. The event will have everything from of songs to drama, and from poetry to comedy. What lends special resonance to the event is Percy French’s association with the West Clare Railway, chronicled in his satirical and amusing song, “Are you right there Michael, Are you right”. Percy had a memorable trip to a performance at a concert in Kilkee but failed to arrive in time for the event having been stymied by the old steam train breaking down. This subsequently lead to a lawsuit and …

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From Broadway to the Banner

PEMBERLEY Productions and the Lime Tree Theatre are bringing the one man off-Broadway production of In Acting Shakespeare on an Irish tour this month, with dates in Clare, Limerick and Galway. The tour gives Irish audiences a rare chance to see an off-Broadway production on their doorsteps and it comes off the back of a two-month, sold-out run in New York City. In Acting Shakespeare is a funny, touching and uplifting story of one man’s discovery of Shakespeare, acting and language. Freely adapted, with permission, from Sir Ian McKellen’s Acting Shakespeare, James De Vita tells his own story of a young fisherman searching for a new career. This fun, fervent tribute to one man’s personal journey, deftly weaves some of Shakespeare’s most famous monologues with James’ days as a Long Island fisherman and his nights as a classical actor. Speaking to The Clare Champion, Tim Smith, who is producing the play, which is written by and stars Wisconsin native De Vita, …

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Nóirín’s generous gift of art

CLARE-based artist, Nóirín Williams Mooney has recently gifted a collection of 14 batik paintings on the life of Christ to Mary Immaculate College (MIC) in Limerick. Professor Michael A Hayes, president of Mary Immaculate College (MIC), accepted the collection of paintings, entitled Story of a Life, on behalf of the college. Nóirín Williams Mooney was born in County Galway but has spent most of her growing and working life in County Clare. Having graduated from Galway University, she went on to take her ATC degree under McEvoy and Mannering at the College of Art in Limerick. She taught in Scoil Carmel, before becoming lecturer of art in Mary Immaculate College in Limerick. During these years, she held two joint exhibitions with Eileen Egan and participated individually in several Irish Winter Artists’ Exhibitions. In 1969, she married the poet, Brian Mooney, and together they moved to the Burren in County Clare, where they ran the Vincent Perfumery. The poet, John O’Donohue …

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An insight into Clare in 680 stories

THE  first volume of The Other Clare was published  by the Shannon Archaeological & Historical Society in 1977 and contained 34 pages  dealing with historical aspects of south Clare. After it was produced, the hope was that there would be a second volume, and possibly some more. However, in the intervening 37 years, over 2,500 pages containing over 680 articles on the historical heritage of County Clare  have been published within its covers. Volume 38 of The Other Clare was launched recently and this year’s journal follows the format of its predecessors containing a variety of articles by seasoned and new authors alike on a wide range of topics relating to the county’s heritage. Risteard UaCroinin and Martin Breen continue their invaluable study of the county’s towerhouses, this time focusing on the restored Ballyhannon Castle, near Quin. Martin Barry continues the study of Drinagh townland that he begun last year, this time focussing on the history of its landownership from …

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Getting set for that Friday cultural feeling

Friday marks the annual Culture Night throughout Ireland and once again Clare is very much to the fore with over 25 free events around the county. The organisers of Culture Night, the Department of Arts, have kept last year’s theme Explore – Experience – Enjoy due to it’s phenomenal success. Ennis sees the largest array of Culture Night activities. The phenomenally successful Riches of Clare concert series will provide a free concert in Glór featuring Mike Butler, Damien O’Reilly and Blackie O’Connell, to name but a few musicians. Music will also be provided by the Jaskane Café Trio in the Clare Museum and there will be a piping recital by renowned uilleann piper David Power in the Friary on Abbey Street, Ennis. There will also be music on the streets of Ennis provided by the Ennis Gospel Choir, Comhaltas and by a members of the international community in Ennis. Music dominates throughout the county also with traditional music happening in …

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